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Is the doctrine of providence a guide to interpreting history? The early work of John Milton is optimistic about the possibility of such providential discernment. Milton lived during one of the most turbulent periods of English history and was actively involved in the cause of revolution and social reform. His poems typically centre on moments of historical change that seem to illuminate the ultimate meaning of history. After his revolutionary hopes had been shattered, Milton came to perceive a much more ambiguous relationship between history and providence. What history reveals, he now thought, is mostly a pattern of repetition and decline. Milton ends Paradise Lost with the reflection that belief in providence is not so much a species of knowledge as a practice of life. This article traces Milton's movement from providential optimism to providential pessimism and argues for a conception of history in which even acts of divine intervention do not unambiguously alter the course of history.
This paper reflects on the context of lockdown in a global pandemic, where entire populations have experienced severe curtailments of the opportunity to exercise agency. The experience has made me notice the surprisingly large role that resignation has played in Christian moral thinking in earlier ages. This paper takes the devotional poetry of George Herbert as a case study, since Herbert had a particular preoccupation with the psychology of religious belief in circumstances where the will cannot be deployed to any end. Herbert reflects on the predicament in which the moral life has to continue even though opportunities for the exercise of agency have collapsed. After examining Herbert's poems of affliction, I conclude by setting out a brief case for understanding resignation as a moral practice – a practice that centres not on the will but on imagination and the emotions.
Data from all general hospitals in Israel to April 2021 show that the mean hospital rate of staff vaccination was 84.4% for the first dose and 77.1% for the second dose, which are lower than general population rate, with mean 7% who did not complete their vaccinations. Healthcare workers have an important role in influencing the wider community.
Emerging research has outlined the possibility for virtual reality (VR) experiences, which situate users into the perspective of someone living with dementia, to enhance dementia awareness. Currently, there is limited VR research that engages care home practitioners. It is imperative this population has high levels of dementia education given their requirements to provide care and support to residents, many of whom will be living with the condition. This paper reports on an exploratory qualitative study designed to elicit the experiences of care home practitioners who engaged with the VR application: ‘A walk through dementia’. Twenty practitioners, across four care homes in the United Kingdom, watched the VR scenarios and provided their views on the experience and the potential for the VR tool to be developed into a wider training programme to support dementia awareness. Data were collected via focus group discussions. Following an inductive thematic analysis, we constructed three themes. These suggested participants perceived the VR application offered them a convincing and immersive experience that was insightful and evocative, and provided ‘next-level’ dementia-awareness training that enabled them to reflect on care practices. Although the findings highlight important challenges for practitioners and developers wishing to use VR within dementia care, they suggest this application may be an engaging experiential learning tool that can provide care home staff with deeper cognitive and emotional awareness of living with dementia. Further work, drawing on these preliminary insights, is required to ensure the VR tool can be incorporated into a training programme that can positively contribute to the ‘dementia-friendly communities’ agenda.
Accurate estimates of body mass in fossil taxa are fundamental to paleobiological reconstruction. Predictive equations derived from correlation with craniodental and body mass data in extant taxa are the most commonly used, but they can be unreliable for species whose morphology departs widely from that of living relatives. Estimates based on proximal limb-bone circumference data are more accurate but are inapplicable where postcranial remains are unknown. In this study we assess the efficacy of predicting body mass in Australian fossil marsupials by using an alternative correlate, endocranial volume. Body mass estimates for a species with highly unusual craniodental anatomy, the Pleistocene marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex), fall within the range determined on the basis of proximal limb-bone circumference data, whereas estimates based on dental data are highly dubious. For all marsupial taxa considered, allometric relationships have small confidence intervals, and percent prediction errors are comparable to those of the best predictors using craniodental data. Although application is limited in some respects, this method may provide a useful means of estimating body mass for species with atypical craniodental or postcranial morphologies and taxa unrepresented by postcranial remains. A trend toward increased encephalization may constrain the method's predictive power with respect to many, but not all, placental clades.
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